Local Authority Transport Partnership Policy Statement 2020/21

Published October 2020 An accessible policy document from southtyneside.gov.uk

Transport policy statement for students aged 16-18 in further education and continuing students aged 19 and over

Children, Adults & Families
Department responsible

South Tyneside Council encourages all pupils to travel independently where possible.

Walking to and from school encourages healthy lifestyles and improves young people’s self-esteem and resilience. Likewise, the use of public transport is promoted wherever possible to support South Tyneside’s current initiatives and commitment to responsible practise in relation to the environment.

Where walking or the use of public transport is not suitable to meet students’ needs alternative provision may be provided. South Tyneside Council reserves the right to undertake the assessment of need in partnership with pupil services, social work teams and health professionals where necessary.

The Post-16 policy statement is reviewed regularly and may be subject to change. Therefore, this policy does not amount to a legitimate expectation that any service currently offered will continue to be offered in the future.

Objectives

This policy sets out how South Tyneside Council will exercise its powers and duties in relation to school and college transport for learners aged 16-19 years.

Duty to provide transport is in accordance with section 509 of the Education Act 1996, as amended by Section 83 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure that no South Tyneside learner is prevented from continuing in further education due to the lack of transport provision or the lack of financial support with transport costs. It also sets out how the council will support and facilitate those learners attending an educational establishment outside South Tyneside if it is the nearest provider offering the appropriate course.

Key principles

  • The promotion of increased independence and social inclusion of young people, recognising the context of their age and ability.
  • Travel assistance must support young people to follow an appropriate educational course at the nearest suitable institution to home.
  • Travel assistance must be appropriate to individual needs and circumstances.
  • The policy should encourage and promote travel options designed to improve the physical well-being of those who use them.
  • Any transport assistance offered must be efficient and effective in terms of both sustainability and cost and may require the young person or their family to make a reasonable contribution towards the overall costs.
  • To support young people in this objective South Tyneside Council, in conjunction with the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive and the Tyne and Wear area.

Concessionary fares, discounts, subsidies, passes/travel cards available for students aged 16–19

All students, whether attending college or sixth form, may be entitled to claim funds from the learning provider through the 16-19 Bursary Fund that each provider receives from Central Government. The Bursary Fund is means tested but can be used for any expense such as travel, meals, equipment or resources for the course.

More information about the Bursary

Students aged 16-19 at the start of the academic year (1st September) and living within the Tyne and Wear region are eligible for discounted travel tickets. Tickets are available from Nexus travel shops. Tickets are discounted by 25%.

For more information please visit network one tickets or call Network One directly on 0191 276 3706

This website also provides information on the cost of other tickets and concessionary fares available to students. Using the links to other sites further information can be obtained on services and concessionary fare schemes available from other transport providers in the region. The site also provides a Journey Planner which gives information on timetables for buses, trains, and the Metro.

The two local major bus operators provide the following student travel tickets; Stagecoach has the Under 19 ticket for young people aged up to 19 years. This gives unlimited daily travel on the Stagecoach network for £2.90 for a one day ticket. A Stagecoach ID is required.

More details can be found on the Stagecoach bus website

Go North East offer a 5-25 ticket which offers a range of discounts to passengers who are aged between 5 – 25 years (up to your 26th birthday) including a ‘School Tripper’ ticket for students 19 and under.

More information can be found on the Go North East website

Stagecoach, Go North East and Nexus passes can be used anytime of the day.

South Tyneside College offer funding towards travel to eligible students. Terms and conditions apply and all applicants will be means tested. If they meet the criteria they may be offered financial support whilst they are studying which can include a Network One Travel pass (subject to satisfactory attendance and behaviour).

More information on finance

South Tyneside schools with sixth forms

Students attending Harton Academy can apply to the Director of Sixth Form for a discretionary bursary to assist with travel to and from college. The bursary is means tested. Household income must be below £21000 or the student must live a considerable distance from the school for students to be eligible.

More information on Harton Academys Bursary

Harton Academy, St Joseph’s Academy and St Wilfrid’s RC College, in line with government guidance, all offer a 16-19 bursary fund to help with education related costs. Students who receive certain benefits or who are in or have recently left Local Authority Care are eligible.

More information from gov.uk on the bursary fund

More information on St Josephs student finance

More information on St Wilfrids student finance

More information on Harton Academy student finance

Financial assessment and eligibility

For the Nexus student travel scheme students must be resident within the Tyne & Wear area.

Stagecoach and Go-Ahead require their own ID cards.

Students attending school sixth forms will need to satisfy an income and / or distance test, be in receipt of DLA/PIP or be in Local Authority Care.

Support for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities including students aged over 19

Nexus provide free Concessionary Travel Passes for disabled residents of Tyne & Wear. This includes students. Passes are available from the Nexus Concessionary Travel Bureau who can be contacted on 0191 2020 747. Students wishing to use the Metro under this scheme will need to apply for a Metro Gold Card.

Students who receive the High Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance / Personal Independence Payment can also apply to become members of the Nexus Taxi Card Scheme. The taxi card is an annual scheme and there are two opportunities to join each year. If accepted your card will be credited with £225 and can be used with taxi companies approved by Nexus. A flat fare of £3 is deducted from your Taxi Card each time you travel, regardless of the price of the journey (even if it is less than £3). However, if the taxi fare is more than £3 you have to pay the extra amount yourself.

More information on Taxi Card please visit Nexus or call on 0191 2020 747.

Students aged between 16-25 who have a significant learning difficulty/disability or have a disability that significantly impairs their mobility and attend full time courses at local colleges of further education, sixth forms or special schools may, in exceptional cases, be provided with transport assistance by the Local Authority (LA). To help provide this assistance the LA may seek financial support from its partners such as the further education provider or Social Services. This support will be for a maximum of three years for those at college.

A full-time course of study is 12 guided learning hours or more per week for a minimum period of one academic year. Support is not available for students on parttime, distance learning or day release courses. Students attending specialist residential colleges with financial support through the Education Funding Agency may also qualify for transport assistance at the start and end of each term. Any transport assistance provided will be to and from the normal place of residence and the education establishment only.

To promote the efficient use of resources students receiving transport may be required to have a period of waiting time either before and / or after the course starts / finishes. This allows student journeys to be combined. Transport will be subject to continual review and where appropriate students will be required to participate in Independent Travel Training.

Application forms for transport assistance can be obtained from:

Transport Team Joint Commissioning Unit

Transport Team Joint Commissioning Unit, Children Adults & Health, South Tyneside Council, Town Hall and Civic Offices, Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL
Address
Transport.Team@southtyneside.gov.uk
Email
0191 427 2689
Telephone

More information on South Tyneside Transport Team

Completed applications will need to be assessed for eligibility and the Transport Team will need to access a copy of the young person’s an Education, Health and Care Plan from the SEND Team. Young People who qualify for transport assistance through Home to School Transport will be offered the option of a Personal Transport Budget to make their own transport arrangements. In certain circumstances, transport will be arranged to take young people to college.

If applicable applicants aged over 19 may be required to use their Personal Budgets to support their transport costs.

Independent travel training for learners with a special educational need or disability

Staff in school / college may identify programmes to develop and foster independence skills for students and, where appropriate, to encourage independent travel.

South Tyneside Council will support structured skills programmes where possible by phasing out transport over a period of time. For those students attending courses at college further information will be available by contacting the individual college directly.

Application timescales

Students with learning difficulties and / or disabilities should apply by 30th April to ensure transport arrangements are in place before the course starts. Students are required to reapply each year. Late applications will be considered by the Transport Team, however, they cannot guarantee that arrangements will be in place before the start of the academic year.

Students can only apply for the Nexus student travel scheme after they begin their course. Information about applying for College Learner Support Funds is available from the individual colleges. Individual school sixth forms will provide information on their bursary schemes.

Attending outside the boundaries of South Tyneside

For students living within the Tyne & Wear area the Teen Travel and Network One tickets are available.

Go Ahead & Stagecoach tickets are valid across the region on their own networks

Residential Education Placements

Students can apply to their college for assistance from the college’s Learner Support Funds and the Residential Bursary scheme if appropriate.

Students with disabilities and / or learning difficulties attending specialist residential colleges with financial support from the Education Funding Agency for England may apply for transport to be provided by Social Services.

Students are only eligible from the start and end of each term and half term. Those students whose parents prefer to take them to college by car may be eligible for a Personal Transport Budget.

Contact details

South Tyneside Council

Transport Team Joint Commissioning Unit, Children Adults & Health, South Tyneside Council, Town Hall and Civic Offices, Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL
Address
Transport.Team@southtyneside.gov.uk
Email
0191 427 2689
Telephone

Nexus

Nexus House, 33 St James’ Boulevard, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
Address
0870 608 2608
Traveline phone
0191 203 3211
Lost bus passes

More information can be found on the Nexus website

Stagecoach

More information can be found on the Stagecoach website

Go North East

More information can be found on the Go North East website

Complaints and appeals

Should a learner wish to appeal against the decision of the Authority not to provide transport support please write to:

Commissioning Manager (Home to School Transport)

Joint Commissioning Unit, Children Adults & Health, South Tyneside Council, Town Hall and Civic Offices, Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL
Address
Transport.Team@southtyneside.gov.uk
Email

Your appeal should include why you disagree with the decision and any additional information to support your appeal. The Authority will review its decision within twenty days in the light of any new evidence provided and will inform the learner of the outcome of the appeal in writing.

Should a learner wish to make a complaint about the content of the policy, the appeal process outlined above should be followed. In your letter please indicate the omissions you consider have been made and how this affects you. The Authority will consider the complaint within twenty days and inform the learner of the outcome.

Feedback

If you already receive Home to School / College support from South Tyneside Council and would like to let us know about your experience of this service please get in touch using the contact details above.

If you would prefer to give your feedback via an independent organisation (who will pass your thoughts on anonymously) please contact:

info@healthwatchsouthtyneside.co.uk